Everything about Megan Brunmier and Adam Lord’s wedding was uniquely quirky, even down to what brought them together: bowling.
He was a Director of IT at Bowdoin College and she was first a student then an event planner for Bowdoin and for her own company, Pencil Events. But they didn’t meet face-to-face for years until they started attending bowling outings to Yankee Lanes with other Bowdoin singles.
“We bowled there for about a year before it even occurred to me that ‘we’ were a possibility,” Megan said. “I remember talking with my mom and multiple co-workers that it was dumb that we weren’t a couple. A couple months went by and we got together at the fourth of July. I was making a mess in the kitchen making macaroons and that’s when he thought I was the right one.”
The couple spent the next year and a half dating before Adam popped the question in a very unique way: An elaborate scavenger hunt involving rings made from various found materials including glass, paper, and metal. It was the “hunt to find the perfect ring,” she said. Clues came on buttons made from an industrial political button machine (later used for their wedding) and were hidden at their home. The final ring — with a beautiful yellow diamond — cost Megan a quarter.
“He had found an exact replica of a gumball machine I was in love with when I was a kid… and he rigged it so I found it in our garden in mid-December,” she said. “I put a quarter in and out came the ring.”
That December in 2010 started a journey.
Megan let her experience as a Bowdoin event planner and their combined creativity, take it from there.
Step one: create a concept.
“We decided on ‘Love is primary,’” she said. “We wanted something playful, but we also wanted something casual. We are both pretty artistic, so we developed our wedding branding together.”
That branding included a website, a gumball machine logo, and a primary color palette.
“We had a lot of people from out-of-town, so we knew one barrier would be the cost of travel,” Megan said. “We looked very hard for a venue that feasibly could offer a place to stay.”
When they found the Merrill House in Andover and everything clicked.
Prior to meeting Megan, Adam had built a home in Bowdoinham. Using that skill, he and his father built an open faced frame that would serve as the “entry” to their ceremony.
“We felt it would be so representative of his side and our willingness to work hard to build the front face of a house wall,” Megan said. “We wanted to make the most of the Merrill House.”
To do that, they created bunting garland. Megan’s parents, who live in Colorado, took on the task of creating 1,000 feet of pennants by “converting the basement into a factory.” The task provided her parents with a way to contribute despite distance. “It became their major Saturday project,” Megan said. “They were so proud.”
Instead of a wedding party, the couple created a “wedding league”.
“We chose 20 people that either had hugely invested in us as a couple or as individuals,” Megan said. “We sent them packages with treats, mini-gumball machines, and an invitation to join the marriage league.”
Their responsibility: “to come, keep the excitement up, keep the theme going, play games, and rest when it was needed.”
And there would be no “matchy” outfits. Instead there was plaid.
“We came up with plaid because the vibe was already like taking a field trip to the fair,” Megan said. Add to that, Adam’s strong Maine roots and it was a no brainer. “It’s pretty Maine to have flannel or plaid,” she said. “Even our California relatives were asked to try on the idea of wearing plaid. We wanted them to be comfortable.”
Megan’s dress, however, was not plaid. Instead it was custom made. Primary colors in the form of a brilliant blue vintage hat — found on a vintage website for $20 — complete with vintage hat pin red shoes, and a playful yellow petticoat accented her dress.
Adam wore a decidedly non-traditional outfit: A newly-released Red LL Bean Signature plaid shirt, dark blue Banana Republic jeans, and new boots.
Megan’s bouquet was created from local flora: Thistle from the Merrill House’s garden, rabbit tail from the couple’s garden, and Billy Ball flowers secured with another vintage pin and antique fabric tape which Megan purchased in Maine. Family and friends chipped in throughout the week prior to make centerpieces and final touches to the decor.
On the day of the wedding, guests were greeted to the sunny Merrill House and its grounds. Vintage-inspired tin lunch boxes — a lucky find at Old Navy — were filled with treats, a wedding newspaper program called “The Hitching Post” created by Megan and Adam, as well as a factoid button personalized as a conversation starter for each guest.
“The day ended up hot and humid,” Megan said. “One of my favorite things about the wedding was looking over and seeing one of my friend’s girlfriends napping under the tree with a hat on her face.”
The couple planned lawn games to entertain guests after the ceremony. The reception, which included frivolity and dancing, also featured Maine-made foods.
“We really thought everything through and it couldn’t have been a truer representation of us,” Megan said. “We didn’t take ourselves too seriously, but we put a lot of hard work into it.”
- Event Design + Planning: Pencil Events (http://pencilevents.com)
- Photographer: Andree Kehn Wedding Photography (http://www.andreekehn.com)
- Ceremony + Reception Venue: Merrill House (http://www.merrillhouse.com)
- Bridal Gown Design + Vintage Pillbox Hat: Blue Velvet Vintage (http://www.bluevelvetvintage.com)
- Gown Alterations (criss-cross straps; pockets; hemming): Golden Apple Clothing (http://goldenappleclothing.com/)
- Bride’s Petticoat: Dream Spun Kids (http://www.etsy.com/shop/DreamSpunKids)
- Bride’s Pumps: Vigotti ‘Ursulina’ via Zappos.com (http://www.zappos.com/vigotti-ursulina)
- Bouquet + Floral Arrangements: Pencil Events (http://pencilevents.com)
- Engagement Ring: Yellow Diamond in a Tacori ‘Dantella’ setting via Springers Jewelers (http://www.tacori.com)( http://www.springersjewelers.com/)
- Wedding Bands: DIY by the groom–soldered nails leftover from building our house….
- Groom’s Shirt: L.L.Bean Signature (www.llbean.com/llbeansignature)
- Groom’s Jeans: Banana Republic (bananarepublic.com)
- Wedding Party: Various plaids of their choice.
- Invitation Suite + Programs + Signage: Pencil Events (http://pencilevents.com)
- Hair + Makeup + Nails: I Do Spas (http://idospas.com)
- Officiant: Bree Candland (Family Friend)
- Event Day Coordinators: Antonio Watson; Ruiqi Li (Student-Associates of Pencil Events; http://pencilevents.com)
- Reception BBQ: Smokin’ Good BBQ + The Good Food Store (http://smokingoodbarbecue.com/)( http://goodfoodbethel.com/)
- Dessert: Guest pie baking contest (in lieu of gifts)
- Event Rentals: New England Tent & Awning (http://netentandawning.com/)
- Lunchboxes: Old Navy (http://oldnavy.com)
- Pie Baking Contest Prizes: Piebirds By Sharon (http://www.etsy.com/shop/piebirdsbysharon).
- Bethel Area Airport Shuttle: Stagecoach Shuttles (http://srstage.com)